Climate Action

What is Climate Change?

Climate change is the gradual global increase in temperature that impacts various elements of the climate differently depending on where you live. This change is caused by the increase in various gases, referred to as greenhouse gases (GHGs), being released into the atmosphere, primarily carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels such as oil, gasoline, natural gas, coal, etc.

The impacts from climate change expected in Brantford include increased extreme rain events, increased hot days and hot nights and longer heat waves, increased vector-borne disease (such as Lyme), poorer air quality, increased winter precipitation and shorter warmer winter seasons. These impacts are already happening and will continue to increase for the next century. For additional information of the expected climate impacts to Brantford due to climate change, please visit Climate Data’s Brantford page.

Collectively as a community, and as individuals, we need to focus on reducing our carbon emissions and move toward a carbon neutral future by 2050. This means reducing our emissions as much as possible, and putting in place means of absorbing carbon (such as trees) to offset those emissions that cannot be eliminated otherwise.

For more information on the causes of climate change and how it’s impacting Canada, please visit the Government of Canada’s webpage on climate change.

Brantford’s Climate Change Action Plan

The City is in the process of preparing a Climate Change Action Plan for both the Corporation and the Community to focus on mitigating our impact on climate change by reducing our GHG emissions.

The City of Brantford is a member of the Partners for Climate Protection which is a program from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and ICLEI to support municipalities with their work toward climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Brantford joined this network in 1996 and is working toward completing the five milestones that are part of the program for addressing climate change mitigation. Outlined below is the City’s Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) development and implementation timeline.

Climate Action Plan Timeline
Milestone Action Status
One Complete a baseline emissions inventory Complete
Two Set emission reduction targets Corporate - Complete
Community - In Development
Three Prepare a Climate Change Action Plan Corporate - Complete
Community - In Development
Four Implement Climate Change Action Plan 2021 onward
Five Ongoing monitoring and review 2021 onward

Community Climate Change Action Plan

We want to hear from you!

Brantford is in the process of developing a Community Climate Change Action Plan to reduce GHG emissions produced by residents, businesses, institutions and visitors in the City. 

Please tell us what you think about climate change and how it impacts your life. Tell us what you are already doing and what you are willing to do at home and at work to address climate change and how the City can help make that happen.  Please participate in our survey to help us better understand your initial thoughts and guide the consultation process that will begin in January 2021.

Community Climate Change Action Plan Survey

Corporate Climate Change Action Plan

In November 2020, Brantford Council unanimously approved the Corporate Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) and Emissions Reduction Targets to reach Net-Zero GHG Emissions by 2050.

The Corporate Climate Change Action Plan addresses emissions produced by The Corporation of the City of Brantford such as City fleet vehicles (pick-up trucks, snow plows, buses, etc.), City owned buildings (City Hall, rec centres, libraries, etc.), water and wastewater facilities (treatment plants ad pumping stations), streetlights and traffic signals, and waste.

The targets identified for emissions reduction from Corporate sources are shown below and align with federal emission reduction targets and the climate science stating that this level of reduction is needed if we want to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C or less.

Corporate GHG Emission Reduction Targets
2030 Target 2040 Target 2050 Target
30% 80% 100% (net-zero)
 (% reduction from 2018 levels) (% reduction from 2018 levels)  (% reduction from 2018 levels)

The Corporate CCAP outlines 35 actions the City needs to implement to reach these targets and also outlines a process for monitoring and adjusting the plan to ensure these targets are met. You can read the full details by downloading the plan. 

Download the City of Brantford’s Corporate Climate Change Action Plan.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

The City conducted a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory for both corporate and community emission sources to identify the baseline emissions level from which we can track progress toward our carbon neutral goal. Emissions will be tracked annually and an update will be posted here every other year.

GHG Emissions Baseline Inventory for 2018

Climate Emergency Declaration

In 2019, the City of Brantford Council declared a Climate Emergency  stating that Canada has disproportionately contributed to the climate and ecological crises, and that emergency mobilization on an unprecedented scale will be required. Furthermore, the City agrees, in principle, to becoming a net-zero carbon community by 2050.

The climate emergency declaration also requested that staff develop a process by which all matters coming before council consider and quantify (where possible) the impacts on climate change. As a result of this, all staff reports that come before council will have a discussion section for climate change and environmental impacts where information on this topic will be provided for Council to aid in their decision making. Where it is feasible to do so, an estimated total lifetime GHG emissions will be calculated and provided for Council’s information. This information will be consolidated quarterly and annual reports with this information will be provided to the public. These reports will be posted on this webpage when available. This process is under development and will be in effect November 1, 2021.

Take Action on Climate Change

Show us how you are tackling climate change on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #BrantfordClimateAction. Making climate change part of the conversation is an important contribution.

Here are some tips and resources for you to get started or continue reducing your emissions at work, home, play or in between: 

Measure your Carbon Footprint
The first step to making change is understanding where your personal or business carbon emissions are coming from. You can use this online calculator to start to figure that out.
Reduce Electricity and Natural Gas Use
Take Low Carbon Transportation
Reduce Water Use
Reduce Waste
Reduce Emissions from Food

Get Involved

  • Join (or start!) an environmental club at school or work
  • Join or attend the City’s Environmental and Sustainability Policy Advisory Committee
  • Join the Brant Tree Coalition to plant trees across the City and County.
  • Follow the City of Brantford and #BrantfordClimateAction on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with what the City is doing to reduce our impact on climate change.

Please feel free to reach out with your comments, suggestions and ideas anytime to climateaction@brantford.ca or 519-759-4150.